A SHABBAT PRAYER

Hallelu Yah! He who sits enthroned in the heavens is our Rock and our Salvation. Adon (Master) we choose life this Shabbat as we seek you and your way in the Word of your Torah! Let us go to the Mikvah in the eye of the mind as we seek your righteousness, so that we may arise with hands raised high in praise and thankfulness that we are now cleansed in the Mayim Chayim (Living Water) and are, ‘Born Again’. Abide with those who are in far away places this night, and comfort them with your Ruach. Heal those who have called upon your all-powerful name, HaShem YHWH (B’H) for deliverance from pain, sorrow, and loneliness and renew them with wings as Eagles. You are the Light that sustains us this Shabbat and for all time. We offer our praises to you in our speech, thought, and song as we rest from our work, so that we may be refreshed and elevated with you in the Shabbat of The New Y’rushalayim. Actively searching, and seeking your Shalom that passes all understanding, we ask that you Prepare us Abba, for your soon return. Cause us to love one another, as you Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace), love each of us! Glory, Praise, and Honor be to HaMelech Malchei HaMlachim (The King who is above all kings)! Shouting “Hallelu Yah!” we fall before you, arms outstretched, face and palms to the ground, and then you lift us to stand before your Eternal Majesty, and finally, finally, we gaze upon your beautiful face as your Host sings a new song of victory and deliverance!

Sing Hallelu Yah!
Worship The King!
Shabbat Shalom!
www,beitechad.com

THE SPRING FEASTS

SEFIRAT HaOMER

COUNTING THE OMER TO SHAVUOT

PART 1

 Wayyiqra (Lv) 23: 9 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest. [Deut 26:2]; 11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. 12 ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as an ascending offering to יהוה, 13 and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to יהוה, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine. 14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. Deut 16:9; [Acts 2:1]; 16 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה. 17 ‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה. [Neh 10:37]; 18 ‘And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are an ascending offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה. 19 ‘And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a slaughter of peace offerings. 20 ‘And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before יהוה, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to יהוה for the priest. 21 ‘And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 ‘And when you reap the harvest of your land do not completely reap the corners of your field when you reap, and do not gather any gleaning from your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am יהוה your Elohim.’            (TS2009)

WHEN DOES THE COUNT BEGIN?

INTRODUCTION:

Following along in our ongoing study of the Mo’edim (appointed times) of יהוה (B’H), we come to another somewhat controversial date that is described in the Torah as “the day after the Sabbath”, and that is the day that the first fruits of the barley harvest are presented as a ‘wave’ offering in the Temple at Y’rushalayim which in turn begins the count of the omer to Shavuot.
The controversy that began in ancient Yisra’el, and continues to this day is wrapped up into the following question; “do we begin the count to Shavuot on the day after the weekly 7th day Shabbat during the week of Unleavened Bread, or do we begin the day after the first day of Unleavened Bread (U.B.), which is of itself a ‘no work’ Shabbat, on whatever day of the week it falls on? This question and it’s surrounding debate was a hot issue during the first century C.E. between the Tzaddukim (Sadducees) and the P’rushim (Pharisees), and by extension, to the “…the sect of the Natsarenes.” (Acts 24:5).
We will use the Biblical and historical record, along with the example left for us through the life and death of Y’shua, to make our determination as to when the Natsarene observed the wave sheaf.

THE TIMING OF THE WAVE SHEAF AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE TZADDUKIM

The Sadducees, who controlled the Temple but did not accept the ‘Mosaic Oral Law’ or the teaching of the ‘resurrection’, interpreted this phrase to mean ‘the day after the regular weekly Sabbath’ during Chag HaMotzi. In other words, the annual wave offering (the beginning of the count of the Omer), was made on the first day of the week (Sunday) following the weekly Shabbat during the Feast of U.B. Thus it did not matter to them on which day Pesach fell, the wave sheaf would always be on a Sunday. That’s why they were so sad, you see! This teaching as adopted by the pagan church, played right into their scenario of a counterfeit ‘sun’ day resurrection.
If we were to chose to follow the pattern set by the Tzedukim, this year (2019) would place the Wave Sheaf on April 28, ALMOST A WEEK AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF U.B.! In their misguided attempt to keep the day of the wave sheaf as always being the day after the weekly 7th day Shabbat, instead of the day after the Shabbat of the 1st day U.B.; their count of the Omer, and the resultant day of Shavuot, will never be correct. That would rob the prophetic significance of Y’shuas resurrection on Abib 16 (April 23, 2009), and remove one very important piece of His identification. How can we prove Y’shuas authentic claim by using the Mo’edim, if we move the Appointed Time so that it does not coincide with the event?  The Wave Sheaf would then always be the day after the weekly 7th day Shabbat and may or may not be the day of His Resurrection!. So much for following the path of the Sadducees!

THE TIMING OF THE WAVE SHEAF AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE P’RUSHIM

If there is any particular group or sect of Judaism that deserves criticism for adding to or taking from HaTorah, it is the P’rushim! Changing times and laws has been synonymous with them since the earliest of days, and the days of Pesach and 1st-day U.B. are a good example of this. However, the day of the Wave Sheaf offering was always understood and taught by them to be the day after the Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened Bread.
Remember that Rabbi Sha’ul was a ‘P’rush of P’rushim’, taught the resurrection, and was labeled a ‘ringleader’ of the sect of the Natsarene. Contrary to what is taught throughout Christianity today, accepting Y’shua as Mashiyach had no effect upon His observance of Torah and the traditions of his fathers, as they conformed to the life and teachings of Y’shua (2 Thes. 2:15;3:6). This, of course, is contrary to what is taught throughout Christianity today. It follows then that just as the P’rushim followed the day after the Shabbat of 1st day U.B. with the Wave Sheaf, so the Natsarene of the first century c.e., and consequently the modern-day restoration of that faith would also do in our time and understanding of Torah.

THE BIBLICAL PATTERN AS ESTABLISHED FOR THE WAVE OFFERING, AND ITS’ FULFILMENT BY Y’SHUA

Was the chronology and pattern set by the Mo’edim of יהוה (B’H’), established through chance or happenstance? Of course, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’! Every letter, word, number, ‘jot and tittle’ of Scripture carries with it the mind, person, and plan of our Creator and Redeemer. They present the perfect explanation of our current condition and the exact plan of our rescue from it. When any of this is tampered with by imperfect man, it becomes a lie, a misrepresentation, an inaccuracy, a conflict, a deception, a stumbling block. The pattern of events as spoken of in our introductory text from Vayikra (Lv.) 23,9-14, is a pattern that would be used in conjunction with other Torah texts to prove out exactly, and without error, who the Anointed One of Yisra’el was, is, and will be. It is a pattern that will be seen over again throughout the Mo’edim of יהוה (B’H’).
From ancient times, the Sages of Judaism have repeatedly testified that the Mashiyach of Yisra’el must live a life of perfect obedience in fulfillment of HaTorah, the ‘pattern’ and ‘proof’ for all things. And, as any unbiased student of scripture with an inquiring mind will clearly see, this requirement was, is, and is being met by Y’shua who is Emmanu’el, El who is with us.
So looking at the pattern of the Holy Days immediately surrounding Pesach as described in Lv. 23 we see Chag HaPesach (The Feast of Passover) on Abib 14, followed by the first day of Chag HaMatzot (The Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Shabbat) on Abib 15, followed immediately by First Fruits, and on Abib 16, the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering (whatever days of the week they would fall on would make absolutely no difference). There were no additional days provided for anyone or for any other reason within the pattern set by these three Torah witnesses. Change this pattern in any way, and Y’shua looses His claim to the title “HaMashiyach”!
On the eternal heavenly clock of Elohim, the three- day cycle of Pesach, 1st Day Chag HaMotzi, followed immediately by the 3rd day of the Wave Sheaf would be maintained, and fulfilled exactly by Y’shua (the sign of Yonah), as another sign of His true identity. That He would resurrect as our wave sheaf offering, being the first of the harvest to come, was a lesson sadly lost on those who followed the teachings of the Sadducees (who by the way, did not believe in, or teach the resurrection). Does this mean that Y’shua really did resurrect on a 1st day (Sunday)? It certainly did in the year 30 C.E., exactly 40 years to the day that the Temple would be destroyed by the Roman Army.  

 DO WE AS NATSARENE CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION?

  But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 1Cor 15:20 TS2009 P.P. Col 1:18; 1Pet 1:3; Rev 1:5;
We are not given the mitzvah (commandment) to observe the Wave Sheaf as resurrection day, but yes, while observing this day as commanded we recognize its Messianic fulfillment by YHWH Y’shuati (B’H).  His ‘unspeakable gift’ to all those who had, and would repent and return to our Father while living by the laws of His House, was realized as He fulfilled the promise of the Wave Sheaf.
We celebrate it’s fulfillment through His victory over she’ol and the penalty of sin, by celebrating THE FIRST OF THE SPRING HARVEST, as the day our Messiah presented Himself as the firstfruits of those who would follow. The day of our celebration will always immediately follow Abib 15; the Shabbat of Unleavened Bread, meaning that it might land on the first day of the week, or any other day for that matter, but it will always be on Abib 16, the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering AND the day of His Resurrection!

SHABBAT SHALOM CHAVERIM!

This Shabbat, give yourself the gift of this vision given to Yeshayahu;

In the year that Sovereign Uzziyahu died, I saw יהוה sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Hĕḵal.  Above it stood seraphim. Each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one cried to another and said, “Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart is יהוה of hosts; all the earth is filled with His esteem!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.  Yeshayahu (Isa) 6:1-4

And then join me by reading the following text aloud, with a strong and joyful voice;

Shout with joy to Elohim, All the earth! Sing out the splendour of His Name; Make His praise esteemed. Say to Elohim, “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies pretend obedience to You. “All the earth bow to You, They sing praises to You, They praise Your Name.” Selah.   Tehillim (Ps) 66:1-4 (TS 2009)

Then my chaverim, while standing and facing Yerushalayim, SHOUT THIS OUT SO THAT ALL WILL KNOW!

Praise Yah! Praise, O servants of יהוה, Praise the Name of יהוה! Blessed be the Name of יהוה, Now and forever! From the rising of the sun to its going down, The Name of יהוה is praised. יהוה is high above all nations, His esteem above the heavens. Who is like יהוה our Elohim, Who is enthroned on high? Tehillim 113:1-5 (TS 2009)

Have a Blessed Shabbat!

LET US ASCEND HIS HIGH AND HOLY MOUNTAIN!

Aronic Blessing Shabbat Shalom Mishpochah!


9/15/2018 9:30 AM (updated and reposted 6/22/19)

 

Let us, having become as One New Man being ‘echad’ (one) with Him and each other; ascend His High and Holy Mountain this Shabbat. As His ‘Living Word’ lifts our steps to shouts of “Hoshana, Hoshana, Baruch Haba B’shem YHVH Y’shuati (B’H)!” (“Save Now, Save Now, Blessed Be He Who Comes In The Name of YHWH, Our Salvation [B’H]!”), may all praise, honor and glory be given to HaMelech Malchei HaMlachim, (The King who is above all kings). Feel and see the very power of that Glory through the blast of shofar and trumpet, the sound of harp and tambourine, as they accompany our joyous praise and thanksgiving for your gift of this ‘island in time’.

 

This is our prayer Melech Y’shua, that all those things that separate us from your presence; would be set aside in order that we can truly become echad with You, and each other, on this day that You have called Kadosh (Holy), Separate and Set-Apart. The Day that is the Seventh and last day of your weekly cycle (existing for all time), that will be kept and observed throughout the endless ages of Your Kingdom; the one set-apart day that You Abba (Father) have rested on from all your creative work, while calling it the mark, sign, and seal of your called-out and set-apart people; the day that You Yourself have cautioned all mankind not to forget, but to ‘Remember’; is today become our glory and refuge! Hallelu Yah!

 

May His Shalom and great Simcha (Joy) surround each of you, and be yours today! May your heart and spirit be lifted to new heights of spiritual enlightenment on this Shabbat, the Crown of His Creation and Salvation, the sign of His people Yisra’el; as we go up in spirit to Y’rushalayim, and up to The House of YHWH Elohenu (B’H).

 

Sha’ul

 

 

Beit haMikdosh

Parashah Ki Tavo – when you enter in

Torah: Deu 26:1-29:9[8]

Haftarah: Is 60:1-60:22

Dt.26: 16 “Today יהוה your Elohim is commanding you to do these laws and right-rulings. And you shall guard and do them with all your heart and with all your being. 17 “You have today caused יהוה to proclaim to be your Elohim, and to walk in His ways and guard His laws, and His commands, and His right-rulings, and to obey His voice. (Gen. 17:7) 18 “And יהוה  has caused you to proclaim today to be His people, a treasured possession, as He has spoken to you, and to guard all His commands, (Exod 19:5; Deut 7:6; Deut 14:2; [Eph 1:14]; [1Pet 2:9]; 19 so as to set you high above all nations which He has made, for a praise, and for a name, and for esteem, and for you to be a set-apart people to יהוה  your Elohim, as He has spoken.” (Deut 4:7) TS 2009

Shabbat Shalom Mishpochah

This evening, while welcoming the Spirit of the Shabbat into our home; with uplifted arm and outstretched hand we sang the Shema; (the words of Dt. 6:4) “…Shema Yisra’el…”, “…hear oh Yisra’el…”, my thoughts were again directed toward one of the greatest misunderstood messages of the entire Bible, and how it is connected so deeply to the Torah Parashah for this Shabbat.

Here in Dt. 26:16, we see how dear Yisra’el is to Our Creator. As they stand before Him, All of Yisra’el covenants to be obedient with all of their heart and with all of their being, causing YHVH to proclaim to their Elohim by walking in His ways and guarding His laws, and commands, and right-rulings, while obeying His voice.

How awesome is our Creator! To love Yisra’el so that He would cause them to proclaim to “…be His people, a treasured possession…” so He could set them “…high above all nations which He has made, for a praise, and for a name, and for esteem…to be a set-apart (holy) people to Him”! The grandeur of what has and is transpiring here goes so far above and beyond my wildest imagining that I shutter to realize just how great and terrible He is, and how difficult it is to comprehend His unmerited chesed (mercy) and ahavah (love) for us! How awesome is Elohenu!

So while you are letting that ‘soak-in’, consider this. Yisra’el, the twelve tribes who entered into this covenant exist today and are under the same Covenant made with HaKadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Blessed Be He) now as then! Nothing has changed. Man has tried over and over again to change this relationship between Elohim and His People, but really, can man dictate to Him who is omnipotent, who is his Creator? How ridicules to even think for one moment that man-made traditions and laws can countermand what we have just read in D’varim (Dt.) 26.

Yisra’el is Yisra’el. It is not the Church, nor is it the Jewish State of today. Yisra’el are those Jews of The House of Yehudah, and the gentiles of The House of Yisra’el that have had their blinders removed, who have seen and responded to the call to return to Torah and recognition of The Lessor YHVH (Y’shua) of the Targums who is called Emanu’El (El who is with us). It is this House of Yisra’el that Y’shua came to redeem (Mattityahu 15:24) since it is they who have been lost following pagan teachings and ways while disobeying His Eternal Torah!

If you are a Christian, I pray that you would listen to the voice of HaRuach, The Spirit, who is calling to the drop of Yisra’elite blood that courses through your veins. You know who you are. You are the one who has questions that seem to have no answers. You see the confusion in the message you hear from your leaders that contradict what you read in the precious Word of Our Master. Why is that? You feel a special closeness to things that are Hebraic in nature, or desire to learn more of the Hebrew faith of the original followers of our Jewish Messiah. You are so precious in His eyes and heart as He calls to you to come back, come home, return to Him through obedience out of love for His unspeakable gift; remembering that we are to be as ‘one’ (Gal. 3:28-29). And this: you are not called to convert Jews to Christianity!

If you are Jewish, may you be blessed in your observance of the Holy Torah, guarding and preserving it through fire, war, and such terrible persecution. You who have been looking for the lost of The House of Yisra’el, the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom who once belonged to the ‘Fallen Tabernacle of David’; they are here, and they are returning! Ezekiel 37 is being fulfilled in front of our eyes as you read these words. Be excited for them! Welcome them home with open arms! Teach them the Lashon Kadosh, the Holy Tongue and the precious words of Torah that you have shed your blood for all these many centuries of time. Do not fear them for you and they will be reunited into one body again, as it once was under our mighty Melech D’avid! Hoshana! And this, Goy are not called to Judaism, they are called to return to the Torah that the House of Yisra’el left so long ago!

So as we enter into the set-apart, holy hours of HaShabbat, be at peace and listen with your heart to what the Ruach has to say to you concerning this.

Let us renew our Covenant with Elohim, and welcome each other as ‘echad’, one with each other, even as he is echad. Come to peace with Torah and the fact that you are all called to be a special people, to be echad with Him in the Yisra’el of YHVH.

Be blessed this Shabbat as we walk together up the path to Y’rushalyim, up to the House of YHVH Elohenu, Melech Malchei HaMlachim!

Sha’ul

HIS TRUTH IS A SHIELD AND ARMOUR

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, Who abides under the shadow of the Almighty, He is saying of יהוה, “My refuge and my stronghold, My Elohim, in whom I trust!” For He delivers you from the snare of a trapper, From the destructive pestilence. He covers you with His feathers, And under His wings you take refuge; His truth is a shield and armour. You are not afraid of the dread by night, Of the arrow that flies by day, Of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Of destruction that ravages at midday. A thousand fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it does not come near you. Only with your eyes you look on, And see the reward of the wrong ones. Because you have made יהוה – My refuge, the Most High – your dwelling place, No evil befalls you, And a plague does not come near your tent; For He commands His messengers concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They bear you up in their hands, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. You tread upon lion and cobra, Young lion and serpent you trample under foot.“Because he cleaves to Me in love, Therefore I deliver him; I set him on high, Because he has known My Name.“When he calls on Me, I answer him; I am with him in distress; I deliver him and esteem him.“With long life I satisfy him, And show him My deliverance.”  Tehillim 91 (TS2009)

Today, I present you with this prayer and message. Be strong in all adversity through perseverance in His Truth. It is that perseverance that will transport you to “…the secret place of the Most High…”, and cause you to “… abide(s) under the shadow of the Almighty…”.

Shabbat is an island of time for us as followers of Y’shua, as it was with the Natsarenes of ancient times; and the enemy knows that. He (the enemy) will utilize every weapon in his arsenal during this twenty-four hour period, more so than any other day of the week, to penetrate your defenses.

Do not think for one minute that you have the power to resist him, or that he will somehow leave you unmolested on This Holy Day! He is a master of lies and deceptions, and he has had thousands of years perfecting his destructive art. However, all Praise Be to His Glorius Name, our power comes from the spiritual connections we have made with the Giver of Truth, who is also our Mighty El of war; our Commander, who is our only way of deliverance!

Those spiritual connections we must have to come into His Shabbat Rest do not begin and end on the Seventh Day, they begin each day of the week prior to Shabbat! We gather our strength each day and when Shabbat arrives, that strength is multiplied through that connection which in turn multiplies upon itself week after week and Shabbat after Shabbat as we are becoming ‘one new man’.

Our Shabbat Rest is realized through our arrival at “…the secret place of the Most High…”, wherein we are given as a reward; our deliverance “…from the snare of a trapper, From the destructive pestilence.”

For your encouragement today, and spiritual protection, I pray that you would read and pray with me, as one body, Tehillim 91. Meditate upon each word, each sentence; as you ask of Him who Is Our Armour to make you strong for the battle!

SHABBAT SHALOM!

Aronic Blessing

What Constitutes ‘Work’ on Shabbat?

SHABBAT AFTERNOON FIRESIDE DRASH

 

“Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. “Six days you labor, and shall do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of YHVH your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. “For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YHVH blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

Shemoth (Ex) 20:8-11 (TS 2009)

This, the Fourth Mitzvah of ‘The Ten’, seems to be quite straightforward in what it has to say, doesn’t it?

And yet the word ‘work’ as used here, the Hebrew word מְלָאכָה mĕla’kah, has fueled endless hours of debate over centuries of time and caused page after written page of instruction on how to avoid it in order to observe the Fourth Commandment correctly.

Should or shouldn’t one start the car on Shabbat? And what about the light switch? We could avoid flipping the switch (work) if we just left the lights on at sundown on Erev Shabbat, or just light a twenty-four-hour candle, or some such thing couldn’t we? And what about preparing food to eat on Shabbat (that is if it’s OK to perform the act of chewing and swallowing)? And we could go on and on with getting dressed on Shabbat, carrying a Bible or creating a written page on Shabbat. No telling where the lunacy would go if we were to pursue it further. And yet there are those who concern themselves with these things while watching others in their level of observance. No wonder people equate Torah observance, and particularly that of the Shabbat with legalism!

We can trace this line of thought back through Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism to early Pharisaical Judaism, and the perceived need to build a ‘hedge’, or ‘wall’, around the Mitzvot of Torah. This is especially so when it comes to the Shabbat. In order to protect its holy hours from being profaned by those who don’t understand how to observe it correctly, centuries of technical arguments as recorded in the Talmud (based on the ‘Oral Tradition’) if followed correctly; will bring its adherents to become ‘Shomer’ Shabbat. That is, able to observe the Shabbat perfectly and without error (according to the Pharisees).

Of course, in today’s Orthodox Judaism, all one has to do is to rely upon the local Rabbi if questions arise concerning what is, and what is not permitted under the heading of correct observance, I.E.; suppose I wanted to prepare a Shabbat table for unexpected guests, when nothing had been prepared on Erev Shabbat for such an occasion and they brought nothing with them? Should they fast? Would it be OK for me to eat my prepared food without feeding them, or should we all fast? And then we find out one of them needs food to take their medication, it’s a dark day, can we turn on the lights to prepare something for them (then there is that light in the fridge, didn’t we take that bulb out a while back?)! You can see the level this craziness can go too! But then, never fear, your questions have most likely already been answered by Rabbi Snoozer of Snoozer in Talmud Tractate 52b. You do have the complete set of Talmud available for such occasions right!

Now all of us who follow Rabbi Y’shua, Ben Elohim, Sar Shalom, our very Jewish Mashiyach, Natsarene or not, aren’t involved in this nonsense are we? We have come to know Shabbat as a blessing of Shalom, and Simcha (Peace and Joy) haven’t we? We do not engage in work for hire or buy and sell on Shabbat, nor do we travel with exception of what might be necessary to help those in dire need or to attend services. We take time to meditate, write about, talk about, live out His Torah, especially on this holiest and most blessed day, don’t we?

As Natsarenes we follow the example of our Rabbi, HaAdon Y’shua, The Master Y’shua on Shabbat. Attend service (as was His custom) or hold our own, eat just what is needed (lavish spreads not required, simple basics are best), serve Elohim through teaching, ministering, healing, caring for the widow, the orphan, the less fortunate, the stranger within our gates, the prisoner, and those who are simply downtrodden or in need of encouragement, (which, by the way, is all work). We welcome Shabbat with great joy and thanksgiving, and we leave it’s special hours with a heavy heart while counting the days and hours to its welcome return!

Don’t be afraid to work for the King and the Kingdom on Shabbat, you can do so and still be perfectly ‘Shomer’ while turning those lights on or off!

A TORAH COMMENTARY FROM THE ANCIENT JEWISH SECT of HaNATSARIM

Torah:                          b’Har (on the Mountain)

                                             Va’Yikra (Lev.) 25:1 – 26:2

Haftarah:                           Yirmeyahu (Jer.) 32:6 – 27

Ketuvim Natsarim:         Romans 6:22


 

Vayikra 25:1-2

1  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּהַר סִינַי לֵאמֹֽר׃

2 דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָֽה׃

25:1) va’yedaber YHWH el-Mosheh be’han Sinai lemor (2) daber el-benei Yisra’el ve’amarta alehem Ki tavo’u el-ha’arets asher ani noten lachem ve’shavetah ha’arets Shabbat la’YHWH         

25:1) And YHWH spoke to Mosheh on Mount Sinai, saying, (2) Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall observe a Sabbath to YHWH


 

A SHABBAT REST FOR THE LAND

The Shemittah Year (year of release or sabbatical year):

Traveling our path in Torah thus far we have seen the holiness and sanctity of the seventh day Shabbat, the High Holy Days of the seventh month; and now we will look at the laws of the seventh year, the ‘Shemittah,’ the year of release. Shemittah celebrates Elohim’s ownership of the land, which belongs to Him alone (25:3). The land is not to be worked during the Shemittah but allowed to go fallow. Orchards and vineyards were left un-harvested, un-pruned, and un-worked, but the produce that came forth on its own was available to any and all, stranger or native born, man and beast alike. Crops of the six year produced a triple harvest (25:21), and a guarantee of safety, as part of YHVHs’ blessing upon those observing this Chukim. “Such a guarantee flies in the face of human logic! For this reason, Torah classifies agricultural requirements as Chukim (Statutes), not as Mitzvot (commands) or Mishpatim (ordinances) which are based on rationality or logic. Clearly, dwelling securely in the Land demands radical faith![1]

Debtors went free in the Shemittah. All loans were forgiven, and no money lender could demand repayment from a debtor (Dt. 15:1-4). Torah requires next of kin buy back (redeem) property once belonging to an impoverished relative (Lv. 25:25). If a kinsman redeemer did not come forward, the property would revert to its original clan on the Yovel (see below).

Remembering the guarantee of safety that accompanied observance of the laws of Shemittah? It was the lack of obedience to them, that lead to the 70-year captivity in Babylon, one year of for every 7th year that B’ney Yisra’el neglected the Shemittah, or, for the 490 years prior (2 Ch. 36:20-21).

How to determine the Shemittah year:

To determine the Shemittah year, divide the current Jewish year by seven. If there is no remainder, it is a year of Shemittah. If there is a remainder, it will tell you how long since the last Shemittah. For example, this year on the Rabbinical calendar is 5777, divided by seven = 825.3, not a Shemittah year since there is a remainder in our calculation. However, the amount left tells us that the last Shemittah occurred in 5774, three years ago this last Abib. And of course, Abib is determined by the conjunction of the ripened (abib) ear of barley in the land, and the first sighting of a new moon; which was as observed before the Babylonian captivity and prior to the Rabbinical Calendar. Praise be to YHVH that today we see a return to His astronomical and agriculturally corrected Biblical Calendar while departing from names of days and months brought out of pagan Babylon.

Yovel (Jubilee, home bringing):

After the Shemittah of the forty-ninth year, the Yovel was declared on Yom Kippur of the fiftieth year by the blast of the shofar, a ram’s horn (called a ‘Yovel’ in Hebrew) from one of the Biblically Clean animals of Vayikra 11. Liberty for all inhabitants was proclaimed (Lev. 25:10), and all Hebrew slaves were set free; clans received back their original territories. Property that had been sold during the Shemittah year, if not bought back by a kinsman, would be returned to its original owners or their clan.

Shemittah and Torah: a product of divine inspiration or man’s invention?

In light of continuing attacks on the Divine authorship of Scripture, I offer the following short article from Rabbi Boruch Leff of ‘Aish.com’ for your consideration and use:

The Sabbatical year and the Divine authorship of the Torah.

(Changes made to the Sacred Name and titles of Elohim are made by me.)

“The laws of Shemitta seem to be irrational and are indicative of their Divine origin. Would any human being write laws that seem impossible to accept and observe? The laws of Shemitta command the Jewish people to desist from all agricultural work every seventh year (see Va’Yikra 25: 1-24) every 50th year, there is an additional year called Yovel, Jubilee, in which they cannot engage in working the land either. This means that both the 49th and 50th years are off limits to any and all farming.”

“Why would a human being write such a ridiculous law? It is akin to commanding the people to starve to death every 7th year.”

“Yet, the author of the Torah goes further. The people will be bothered and worried when they hear of these laws. They will ask, ‘How will we survive in the 7th year?’ (See 25:20). The author, consequently, makes a guarantee. He promises that every 6th year they will receive a special blessing of a double crop (25:21) which would suffice for both the 6th and 7th years”

“Could a human being guarantee such an occurrence? The very first time the 6th year comes without yielding a double crop, the people will see that it was a lie! They will see that El could not have written the Torah and it was made up by a human being. If a human being did invent the Torah, why would he devise a law that risks destroying his concocted religion? Is there a law such as this in any other religion that exposes itself to falsehood and absurdity? Only El could have authored the laws of Shemitta.”

Rabbi Leff goes on to write about the three pilgrimage festivals as additional evidence of divine inspiration behind the writing of the Torah, citing the fact that all males in Yisra’el were required to come up to Y’rushalyim three times a year for the commanded feasts. With the Ammonites, Philistines, and Amalekites looking for their chance to invade, this would have been a perfect time. However, the author of the Torah tells the people not to worry, while they are in Y’rushalyim, nothing will happen to their homes, their crops, their animals and all their possessions (Shemot 34:24), and as long as this mitzvah (commandment) was observed, they were kept safe.

How can we apply the laws of Shemittah today?

Ask any farmer, or gardener if there is life in the soil, and they will all tell you that if there isn’t, you’re not going to grow anything. For those of us who live in a desert environment, we know this all too well.

To support life the soil must be alive, having a certain chemical and organic balance that will allow a seed to germinate and grow. If the soil is required to produce the same crop continuously year after year, or even different crops in rotation, it must eventually be rested and fed to renew this organic chemical balance.

Once the natural order of Sabbatical rest has been interrupted, the land must receive some type of artificial stimulation so that it will continue to produce. We (man), have taken this to the extreme where agri-business must generate the highest volume possible per acre, at the lowest cost, for the highest possible profit. This demand upon the land has spun-off into the agricultural chemical industry, and an absolute necessity to meet the requirements of today’s market.

Many believers having enough suitable ground to produce a sustainable food source for their families have done so while including a return to Elohim’s plan for rest and rejuvenation of the land every Shemittah. If you live in the city, a small garden may be possible. No matter how small it may be, follow the law of the Shemittah, letting your garden plot rest every seventh year of observance, and YHWH’s blessing will be yours.

In the Shemittah there is a Shabbat rest for the earth, from which comes all life. In observance of Shemittah Yisra’el was blessed with an overabundance of produce and livestock, and on the Yovel, freedom was proclaimed to all. Even though the accuracy of the Rabbinical calendar remains in question, (possibly by at least 100 but no more than 200 years), we now have reestablished the corrected astronomical and agriculturally based Biblical Calendar. With this knowledge, coupled with a prophetic understanding of the Feasts of YHWH and the picture they paint for us concerning the times and seasons, we could be expecting the sounding of the ram’s horn of the last Yovel on the 10th day of the 7th biblical month very soon! The exact year of the Anointed Time is and will be unknown to us until …it shall be said in that day, “See, this is our Elohim. We have waited for Him, and He saves us. This is YHVH, we have waited for Him, let us be glad and rejoice in His deliverance.” HalleluYAH! Amen and Amen!

Sha’ul

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HAFTAROT

Yirmeyahu 32:6-27

THE KINSMAN REDEEMER

Our portion from the Prophets unfolds before us in the tumult and destruction of Y’rushalyim by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, where we find assurance and a promise of a kinsman redeemer to come.

Yirmeyahu, who lies imprisoned during the conquest of the capital, receives a message from El that instructs him to redeem the property of his next of kinsman, Chanam’el (Favor of El).  What’s left of Yisra’el (The House of Yahuda) is about to go into captivity for seventy years (Jer. 29:10; 2 Chr. 36:21) for failure to obey YHWH concerning the Shemittah. To most, it would seem strange to be conducting such a business transaction in light of current and future events.

But there is a hidden promise in this seemingly fruitless purchase, and it lies in the understanding of the Shemittah/Yovel and the kinsman redeemer. The promise has already been made in 29:10 that the captivity would be for seventy years and that “I will deliver you and perform my good word toward you in bringing you back to this country.” The promise made through Yirmeyahu’s transaction with Chanam’el, is that the sons of Yisra’el will be redeemed to return, to resume their lives in the land, at the completion of ten Shemittot in Yirmeyahu’s time.  But as we read on through to vs. 14, we see the hidden promise partially revealed in a prophecy of redemption and restoration from the Diaspora in our time. When the House of Yahudah is gathered from all the lands where they had been scattered “…and I will bring you back to the place from which I have caused you to be carried away from.”

We as believers in Y’shua Mashiyach can look forward to the time when this promise is fully revealed, come the tenth day of the seventh month of a Yovel when the shofar will sound, and freedom is proclaimed to the captives! Baruch HaShem!

As a side note, if we were to calculate the number of Shemittot to reach the 7th millennium, the result would be 1,000. The number of Yovelim required to arrive at the 7th Millennium would be 140, a multiple of 7, 10, and 70. Interesting how these figures play out, each one being very significant in Hebraic thought and understanding. Is there a hidden message for us laying behind these numbers?

Sha’ul

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KETUVIM NETSARIM (K.N./Writings of the Netsarim)

Romans 6 (TS2009)

16) Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17) But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18) And having been set free from sin, you became servants of righteousness.

Would you think of yourself as a servant? Certainly not some would say, but I have a few on my staff! Chaverim, there are servants, and then there are Servants! El declares out of our Torah Portion that “For they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Mitsrayim; they shall not be sold as bondmen” (Lev. 25:42).

Servants of Elohim were not to be held as bondsmen in perpetuity but were to be released from bondage on the year of the Yovel so that they could return to the life of freedom intended for them. That freedom was to be a servant to the El of our salvation. It was El who ransomed them and as their Kinsman Redeemer brought them out of bondage in Mitzrayim into His marvelous light, where they could serve Him as a nation of Kings and Priests.

He has done this for us again, through His manifestation as Y’shua Ben Yoseph. Y’shua, as our Kinsman Redeemer, has brought us out of our personal Egypt (sin); and through the precious Blood of The Lamb, He has paid the ransom price so that we may be Free! While we are learning how to serve Him through the Teachings of HaTorah, our price has been paid and the Covenant renewed. The Kingdom of YHVH begins with the acceptance of His Free Gift. That Gift covers us as we learn obedience to Him, as we walk up to Y’rushalyim, up to the House of YHVH!

 Rabbi Shaul rejoices with us in the freedom we have gained as “servants of righteousness” after our “emancipation from sin.”[2] It is now, in the year of our release, in the “Yovel” that our Kinsman Redeemer has paid our ransom. We read in Luke Ch. 4 (TS2009):

(16) And he came to Natsareth where He had been brought up. And according to His practice, He went into the congregation on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17) And the scroll of the prophet Yeshayahu was handed to Him. And having unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written: 18) ”The Spirit of YHVH is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away crushed one with a release, 19) to proclaim the acceptable year of YHVH.”

Praise Him for His unending love and faithfulness! Rejoice in your emancipation for “This Scripture in your ears is fulfilled today”!

Shaul


[1] “Walk Leviticus!” Jeffrey Enoch Feinberg, Ph.D. Messianic Jewish Publishers ISBN 1-880226-92-8

[2] Notice that the emancipation is from sin, not the Torah (law). It is HaTorah that identifies sin, as the transgression of it!

A PRAYER FOR SHABBAT

I praise you Father and exalt Your Holy Name above and beyond all others. Your Righteousness is from everlasting to everlasting, and Your unmerited mercy is forever. Your Might and Power can be seen throughout all of Your Creation, and it is awesome for me to behold! Your Love is as deep as the deepest and as high as the highest, it soars with the Spirit and fills my soul! Kindness and Goodness light upon my welcoming heart, as I come to you in thankfulness for This Sacred Day that you have made.

By setting the Seventh Day apart from the others, and calling it Holy, You have so generously given me a refuge for my weary soul, an island in time. The Spirit you send to me on this day brings with it a great joy and peace that passes all understanding. It draws me to seek You and The Light of Your Word, It feeds and fills me with The Bread of Life, and quenches my thirst with The Living Water.

I pray for nothing more than to be called Your servant; You who are my King and my Salvation. Teach me Your ways through the Words of Your Torah, as you cause me to walk in Your Paths of Righteousness.

I do not fear what man can do, but I fear you Father; the One who holds the keys to Life and death. Have mercy on me I pray as I prostrate myself before You; as I offer the little I have upon Your altar, and pray that it will be found to be a worthy and acceptable sacrifice in Your Tents of Righteousness.

May you come quickly to save and deliver; as you bring Your Judgments upon the earth and the evil one who is the origin of sin, pain, and death. Bless all those who bless You, and curse all those who curse You.

Thank You for my lot in this life, as I look forward with great eagerness and anticipation toward the one to come. May I be allowed to see the promise of a Jerusalem made new again in my day; and as it is in Your Will, My Master, and My King!

Amen.